Do We Really Need Travel Insurance?
Any unexpected expenses during your travel abroad need to be preplanned well in advance. Travel insurance is indispensable when you are traveling to a foreign country. Sometimes you are on your own and unforeseen incidents can strike any time without warning and without notice. This can happen through no fault of your own, or through the fault of others. With Travel insurance your medical expenses or any other unforeseen expenses will be covered. So the question remains, ‘Do We Really Need Travel Insurance’ before we head out on our vacation?
Travel Insurance is basically an agreement between a traveller and an insurance company by which an insurance company is obliged to cover all the losses that you may incur during the trip abroad (although it would be wise to read what some Insurance company’s do not cover during your trip abroad). An insured person pays the premium either in single or multiple instalments.
Which is the right time to get the travel insurance?
For frequent travellers there are more broad permanent travel insurances that protect you during all your trips that meet certain requirements. Such online travel insurance or online insurance comparison websites, allow you to compare prices and the policies on offer.
What Happens In Case of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
Anyone with a serious pre-existing medical condition would find it tricky to attain a travel insurance. However, travel insurance companies can have been known to exclude all claims related to pre-existing medical conditions if not disclosed before the policy is taken out. Some insurers may cover for pre-existing conditions without any additional premium. Other travel insurance companies may have a medical screening system, which are usually carried out over the telephone or online. Where these screening methods are carried out, you may be asked a series of questions in order to assess the risk involved and to determine whether you can be given insurance.
What Am I Covered For By Travel Insurance?
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are flight delays, cancellations, limitations. Theft of luggage, delay or loss of personal possessions up to a certain amount when undeclared and up to any amount when declared and included in the policy is covered under such travel insurance. It will also cover for medical expenses whether due to illness or accident. This includes transportation to and from hospitals and clinics, physicians’ fees, medications, etc.
What Travel Insurance Covers
In case of death, all funeral expenses, benefits of accidental death, will be covered by the insurance. Legal coverage such as legal fees, personal liability for accidents in case you are responsible for the accident and have to bear the injured person’s medical expense. Moreover, there are other risks for which insurance can be purchased jointly or separately from a regular travel insurance contract.
Travel Insurance Features:
- Medical expenses – provides cover towards the costs of emergency medical and surgical treatment while you are away.
- Getting you back home (repatriation service) – cover is provided for the costs of emergency repatriation (for medical reasons) back to the UK.
- Cancellation/curtailment – if you have to cancel or shorten your trip, this covers you for any travel and accommodation costs you have paid and can’t use or claim back.
- Missed departure – covers costs of additional accommodation and travel expenses if you miss your departure flight, boat or train due to situations outside of your control – such as your car breaking down, being involved in an accident or public transport being delayed.
- Delay – if your travel plans become delayed for example, due to industrial action, adverse weather or mechanical breakdown the insurer will pay you a certain amount.
- Travel abandonment – if you have to abandon your trip and cancel your journey, this cover will reimburse your travel and accommodation expenses.
- Baggage cover – covers your baggage if it is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed.
- Personal liability cover – this covers you if you are liable to pay damages due to accidental bodily injury to someone or for loss or damage to someone’s property.
- Dental emergency – provides cover towards the costs of emergency dental treatment while you’re away. It usually only provides cover for the immediate relief of pain.
- Money – replaces money or equivalent (like travellers’ cheques or pre-paid tickets) if it is lost or stolen.
- Terrorism – covers your medical costs and other insured losses like damaged baggage in the event of an act of terrorism.
- Loss of passport – provides cover towards additional travel and accommodation expenses as a result of needing to replace a lost passport.
- Different excess amounts – your insurance company might apply different excesses depending on the type of claim. For example, amounts might differ according to whether a claim is for cancellation, baggage loss, abandonment or personal liability.
- Overseas days – maximum number of days that you are covered for whilst outside of the UK in any policy period.
- Trip duration – maximum duration for any one trip during the policy period.
- Receipts for baggage claims – when you need to claim for your baggage, some insurance companies will insist on proof, in the form of a receipt, for all baggage items or all items above a certain value.
- Scheduled airline failure– covers you in the event of your airline going out of business.
- Winter sports – covers you for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, etc.
High Risk Travel Insurance
If you buy a travel package to a high risk destination, chances are that the policy will already contain those clauses, the same is applicable if you hire all the services needed to perform the high risk activities from the same agent. However, you should carefully read the policy before committing to anything and make sure that you are sufficiently protected.
Benefits of Having Travel Insurance in the EU
Travelling within the EU, there are benefits of acquiring the EU medical card which entitles you to free treatment but it does not cover everything. In the long term, medical insurance will give you peace of mind, that should something dramatically happen, you can get your money back or have the insurance company pay them directly. Either way, it is better to be safe rather than sorry, should something unexpectedly happen. I know the fine print is not enjoyable and tedious to read.
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